Unlimited Provision

Jesus had hungry multitudes with Him. He asked Philip to feed them. Philip looked at his physical resources and declined. Jesus did a miracle that He was expecting Philip to do! 


Bible Passages Matthew 14.13-21; Mark 6.32-44; Luke 9. 10b-17; John 6.1-15;

Jesus’s instruction

 – You give them something

Philip’s response

What do we have? (limited vision)

The boy’s faith

What can you do with what I have? (childlike faith)

Jesus’ demonstration

– More than you can ever imagine (unlimited provision)

Bible Passage

John 6:5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus’ instructions

When Jesus asked Philip to provide for the people

Philip calculated his financial resources and even estimated that with half year’s income they would be able to give one bite to each person.

Andrew looked at physical resources of food and says how far will this go to feed so many?

Philip's Response

Andrew and Philip assessed their resources and tried to tell Jesus that their resources were extremely limited.

They were even trying to convince Him.

Philip’s response

Jesus was testing Philip. Testing to see if Philip would look beyond the finite sources to the one infinite source.

If he would see beyond the limited to the unlimited.

Philip’s response

Jesus had demonstrated many huge miracles by now. He had done the impossible many times.

Even if Philip did not have the answer, he could have asked Jesus for an answer before ruling everything out.

What do we have? (Nothing much!)

Do we sometimes tell Jesus this when He already has big plans.

If Philip wasn’t so closed Jesus may have done the miracle through him.

The boy's faith

We don’t know much about the boy except that he turned over his food to the disciples.

We can only appreciate that action. He could have well hidden it and kept it for himself.

Perhaps he (unlike Philip) believed that handing this over would amount to something.

Jesus, in his true style, used those little resources and multiplied it beyond imagination.

Faith of a Child

Before we progress from our limited vision

To enjoy God’s unlimited progression,

We need to cross the barrier with

childlike faith.

Faith of a Child

Are we willing to turn over our little resource to Jesus in faith?

Or are hanging on to them

Have we disregarded them as of little use.

Are we taking a leap of faith,

Offering Jesus our resources and asking

What can you do with what I have?

childlike faith.

Jesus’ demonstration

John 6:10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

14 After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

Prayer of Blessing

Jewish prayer before Sabbath meal.

Baruch ata Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha–olam ha-motzi lechem min ha’ar-etz.

Blessed is the Oneness that makes us holy and brings forth bread from the earth.

Jesus’ demonstration

Again in true style, Jesus demonstrated for the nth time, his unlimited powers.

He showed them that just as he is able to provide their physical bread, he is able to provide spiritual food as well.

Most were happy with just the physical loaves.

Jesus’ demonstration

Jesus is waiting today to do wonders out of our few resources.

Have we turned them over to Him and are waiting excitedly to see magic happen.

Even if we don’t see it do we believe it is happening?

Jesus’ demonstration

On the flip side, Jesus has told us to count the cost of following him.

Jesus’s miracle of provision was to demonstrate His role as bread of life.

Many in the crowd were only after “bread” and earthly provisions. They wanted to make Him king to satisfy their physical needs.

Jesus will empower us to do things – but not in the way we expect.

It will require faith from us.

Jesus’ demonstration

Philip and Andrew had seen many miracles, but never one of this kind.

We need to believe God is always working on our behalf.


Where is our faith?

Irrespective of our age, our restraints, our background,

Are we excitedly handing over our little and asking Jesus



1.There are times to plan and count the cost. There are times to trust. How do we know the difference?

2.In what ways do we tend to be like Philip and Andrew – only focussing on money and material?

3.In what ways should we be more like the little boy who shared his meal?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full on His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.” Helen Lemmel

Are we ready to follow Him?

Are we then ready to go out into the world

And speak the truth they need to hear

So that God could open the eyes of even a few

To see the glorious light of the Messiah.


1.Given people’s unwillingness to face Jesus, how do we help them?

2.How can we try to win people over instead of throwing them off – with our approach?

3.In what aspects are we in denial? What can get us through?

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